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Our Alumni

Shealyn Massey

Summer Intern

From a young age, I have aspired to use law and politics as a means of serving my community. In learning about the adversities and treatment of immigrants, I became passionate about immigration rights and justice and utilizing my privileges to empower others and amplify unsung voices. With this opportunity, I am excited to advocate for families and learn about the complexities of the immigration system. 


Currently, I am a junior at UC Berkeley studying Legal Studies and Public Policy. After, I plan to attend law school and enter a career in law and politics, continuing to serve my communities.

Karla Can

Paralegal 2017 - 2020

One of my college professors told us that the way to find out what you are truly passionate about is to think of what makes you angry, which made me think of our immigration system in this country and throughout the world. Since I graduated from UC San Diego with a bachelors in Political Science, I knew I wanted to work in an environment that would focus on immigration.

I am currently assisting the attorney with family-based petitions by helping to complete the appropriate forms and by communicating with our clients to provide us with the proper documentation. I am also fortunate to be helping the attorney with the preparation process for completing I-601A waivers under her supervision. Working with Vanessa has also allowed me to gain more insight and bring the experience to the other job I have as an accredited representative with a non-profit in Santa Barbara called Immigrant Hope Santa Barbara.


Working at an immigration law firm continues to prepare and equip me to help the community understand how difficult our immigration system can be. With the knowledge that I am gaining from the attorney, I hope that in the near future I could be able to become an immigration attorney and can be one of the good ones.

Andrea Zamora


Summer 2020

Hola! I'm Andrea and a recent graduate from California State University Northridge, class of 2020. I am a first-generation student and the first in my family to graduate from college, which I carry with great honor, gratitude, and consciousness. I double-majored in Psychology and Chicano Studies and I plan on utilizing what I learned from both fields as I pursue a career in law, civil rights, and social justice. 

As a daughter of immigrants, I grew up knowing some harsh realities and struggles many immigrants and marginalized people face here in the United States; labor-intensive work for unlivable wages, constant worry about the police, racial discrimination, language barriers, difficult process to apply for citizenship and more. As I began to learn more about systemic racism and injustice, my passion for social justice and advocacy grew. Instead of watching things happen to a group that is close to my heart, I decided to get involved, learn more about the citizenship process, and use my voice for those who cannot use theirs. 

I hope to continue with Vanessa Frank and work towards unifying, educating, and defending our community.

Sofia Gonzalez-Rodriguez


Summer 2020

My interest in law and politics largely stems from my multicultural family. I've always loved discussing political issues with my father, who was born in Puerto Rico. He instilled in me many of the values that make me who I am today.


I have been involved in my local Latinx community in the San Francisco East Bay Area in recent years, mainly by volunteering with a local community outreach organization. This internship is an amazing opportunity to explore my interest in immigration law and develop useful skills in a professional environment, but above all, I love feeling that I am cooperating with and making a greater difference within my community.

I am currently a rising senior at Amador Valley High School. In college, I want to continue to explore my interest in law. I plan to pursue a degree in Political Science (and maybe Sociology as well) and move on to law school, though I also have an interest in medicine.

Jesus Ramos


Hi y’all, my name is Jesus Ramos and I am an intern at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank. I will be a rising senior at Channel Islands High School this fall. Being a part of this internship has taught me many things from how to create graphics to outreaching to others in a professional matter. This internship has strengthened my passion for advocacy and has made me certain that I want to go into immigration law in the future. I plan on double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Chicanx Studies as I begin applying to college. Giving back to my community that has made me into who I am today.

Kaitlyn Robles


Summer 2020

Currently, I am a full-time student at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo majoring in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and minors in Law and Society as well as Spanish. Once finished with my Bachelors in Arts, I plan to attend law school in the fall of 2021. I hope to use my legal education to be an advocate for those in my own community. I am excited to be working with the Law Office of Vanessa Frank where I will be able to gain the tools and experience to achieve this ultimate goal and get to learn from a great team along the way.

Willa Ayres


Summer 2020

I’m an intern for Vanessa Frank Law and will be graduating high school this year! I’m interested in immigration law because I love working with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and I want to help good people find new opportunities and a home in the US. It makes me so happy to know that I am learning skills that will assist me in reaching a career one day.

I plan on attending Northern Arizona University in the fall to study Spanish and social sciences, and maybe go to law school one day! While I love living in California, I’m excited to experience a new state and discover more of my personal passions and future aspirations. My goal is to one day study abroad and/ or live in a Spanish-speaking country so that I can be immersed in different lifestyles and become fluent in Spanish! 

Cheryl Mota


Summer 2020

As a child of immigrants, I have always had an interest in learning more about immigration law, and advocating for immigrant rights. I joined The Law Office of Vanessa Frank as a summer intern because I wanted to expand my knowledge of immigration law and find ways in which I can help advocate for immigrants who are seeking legal help.


Currently, I am a first-generation college student at the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Economy. After completing my bachelor's degree I plan to further my education by earning my master's degree and eventually attend law school where I will focus on immigration law.

Samantha Robles


Summer 2020

Coming from a big Mexican family, I have seen the battles of the immigration process my whole life. I have had family members taken away, and others reunited. My experiences as a first-generation student are what drives me to make sure the road is easier for the generations to come.


I have always been very involved with my Latinx community beginning in high school where I interned at Westminster Free Clinic to provide care to low-income families and worked with S.A.L.U.D (Student Advocates Leading Uplifting Decisions) where I fought for education equity in my school district. This summer, I will be interning for Congresswoman Julia Brownley and I hope to continue learning about ways in which I can better serve my community. Since joining The Law Office of Vanessa Frank, I have seen, more than ever, what it really means to be an ally. 


I will be attending UC Berkeley this fall, where I will study Political Science. I hope to go to law school afterward and work as an immigration attorney and Professor. Education has always been a passion of mine, whether it was my own or helping to develop someone else’s. The more educated we are, the better advocates we can be or

each other.


Marin Valerio


Summer 2018-2020

Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a loving, inclusive, and encouraging family. Hearing and watching the horrors about the separation of families at the border has made me gain a deep level of empathy for immigrant families. This motivated me to begin interning at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank as I believe that families are meant to stay together to live a safe and healthy life. 


Currently, I’m a senior at El Camino High School and plan to study Journalism once I graduate. I hope to use my post-secondary education to become a journalist that brings the truth and facts about immigration issues.


Cassie Traver

Summer 2019

While being a student at Ventura High School and born in Santa Barbara, CA, I have always grown up in a community filled with many immigrants and children of immigrants. Hearing their inspiring, resilient, and captivating stories have guided me towards a path on helping immigrants. Learning about immigrant experiences and perspectives different from my own inspires me to be an advocate for this population. 


In the future, I hope to major in Political Science and Chicanx Studies to become a lawyer and help those in need of legal services. I joined Vanessa Frank Law to learn more about immigration law and gain guidance on a career path. Being part of the team has enabled me to see changes in a positive direction that can be achieved when working with motivated and passionate people. 


Victoria Almanza

Summer 2019

Both my parents immigrated from Mexico in their early adulthood to provide me with a better future. Although they were far away from their home country, both of them instilled a positive moral compass and traditions about my culture. This allowed me to form a powerful connection with my culture and continuously develop a Mexican identity. 

Currently, I'm a full time student at the University of San Francisco majoring in Political Science with two minors in Philosophy and Legal Studies. Once finishing my Bachelors in

Arts,  I hope to attend law school and work in the immigration legal field. In the future, I want and will continue to use my personal experiences to create a helping hand for others in my community and in the United States. 

Luis Tun Photo.jpg

Luis Tun

Summer 2019

I was born in Yucatán, Mexico and immigrated to Newbury Park, California at the age of six. I am a first-generation, low-income, and Latino student at the University of Southern California majoring in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights. Throughout my high school education, I have always been an advocate for myself, community members, and students. I have helped lower the cost of AP test in the CVUSD district, was a medical intern at the Westminster Free Clinic, and been part of a bilingual advocacy group named Student Advocates Leading Uplifting Decisions (S.A.L.U.D.).


As I am continue to learn more about being an advocate and resource to others, I have found that my passion are in areas of health care, immigration, and education. I aspire to continue my education in hopes to get a masters and eventually become a lawyer.


Maria Rodriguez

January 2019 - May 2019

Since receiving my bachelors from California Lutheran University majoring in Sociology, I have been assisting Vanessa on a special research project and worked as a media intern in past. Before as a media intern, I updated, maintained and grew the office’s social media presence and developed outreach material and presentations. Another previous work experience is that I have interned at the Legal Aid Justice Center in their Immigrant Advocacy Program. Also, I have conducted original qualitative research focusing on the educational barriers and mental health issues of first generation Latina college students and was presented at the Pacific Sociological Association’s Annual Conference.


In the future, I want to continue with my education and eventually gain a PhD in Sociology. Not only that, but I will continue my passion to gain experiences in the field of community outreach for the immigrant community.

Maritza Garcia-Lopez

January 2019 - March 2019

Maritza Garcia-Lopez was a legal intern who graduated Ventura College of Law, March of 2019 and  plans on taking the California Bar Exam in July 2019. Maritza assisted with compiling the information needed to file U-visa, Asylum and Naturalization petitions. Maritza  believes practicing Immigration Law will allow her to serve those in need. 

Lizbeth Gonzalez

September 2017 - September 2018

Lizbeth Gonzalez was born in Mexico City and raised in Oxnard, CA since the age of 3. She is a DACA recipient and has been working at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank since August 2017. She works as an assistant, organizing files and contacting clients. She is a high school Junior and plans on pursuing higher education in the near future. She is working at the office because she loves helping people out and also wants to save money for college.


Nidia Bello

Summer 2017

Nidia was born in  Puebla, Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles. She is now a fourth-year undergraduate studying Psychology and Social Behavior and Chicano/Latino Studies. For the past three years she has been involved with the California Dream Network and other organizations that fight for immigrants' rights. During the summer of 2017 she worked at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank, assisting the paralegal with administrative matters and client management. After graduating this year, she hopes to continue working to fight for immigrants' rights. 


Gabriela Macias Mota

August 2015 - May 2016

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Gabriela has lived in California since the age of 7 and now calls Oxnard her home. At an early age she understood the important role that education would play in her life and set out on a journey to achieve higher education. However as an undocumented student she encountered many struggles that began to shape her community involvement and soon she developed a passion for advocating for those who have been left without a voice.


Gabriela started out her undergraduate education at Oxnard College and transferred to UCSB where she earned Bachelor's degrees in Spanish and Latin American Studies. While a student, she advocated for the rights of undocumented students and of the greater immigrant community through her involvement with student organizations such as the Oxnard College DREAM Club and IDEAS of UCSB. Shortly after graduation, Gabriela decided to bring her community activism back home to her community and worked briefly as a Youth Organizer for CLUE of Ventura County. It was through her involvement with CLUE that she was able to connect with Vanessa Frank and shortly after started her work at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank where she further cemented her beliefs and commitment to empowering immigrant communities. Though the encouragement and insight that Vanessa provided for her, she was able to refocus her vision in pursuing a law degree. 

She has found many of her strengths in non-profit leadership and currently works as a Program Manager for Future Leaders of America (FLA) in Ventura County. Previously in her role as Youth Organizer at FLA, she organized Latino youth to challenge educational inequities at the Oxnard Union High School District. Youth have urged the local district to adopt a policy change that will ensure all youth regardless of background will have access to college admissions required courses. Her goal is to pursue a law degree within the next ten years and continue to serve her community through advocacy, policy and reliable legal representation. Gabriela's biggest source of inspiration is and continues to be the people in her community who turn their struggle into their strength to keep forward. She hopes that today's youth will also be able to be able to find their inspiration in the prior generations who have fought to pave the way for those to come. 


Victor Escobar

January 2014-August 2014

Victor Escobar, a Peruvian national, is currently a second-year student at UC Hastings College of the Law. Ms. Frank initially represented Victor in his deportation proceedings while mentoring him to apply to law school. After she secured Victor's DACA, she hired him as a paralegal. Ms. Frank also encouraged Victor to volunteer at several pro-immigrant activist groups.


During his first summer in law school, Victor interned at the U.S. District Court for the Ninth Northern District of California. For his second summer, Victor will intern at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, one of the few public defender’s office with an immigration unit in the nation. During his third year, he will also join the nationally recognized Moot Court team at UC Hastings.


Victor would like to practice criminal and immigration law after graduating from Law School -- areas of law used to oppress the immigrant community.

Andrea Estrada

June 2014 - August 2014

Andrea Estrada is a native of Guanajuato, Mexico and has lived in the U.S since 1997. She graduated from California State University Channel Island​s​, with a double major in Political Science and Chicano Studies in 2014.  

She is currently an account manager for a real estate law firm in Palm Springs, California.​  She hopes ​to attend​ ​law school in the future ​in order to practice immigration or family law.


David González

David Gonzalez was born and raised in Mexico City, and he came to the United States at the age of 9. He works as a legal clerk at Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), and he attended CAL State University Northridge (CSUN) where he is studying Economics and Chicano Studies. David is very passionate about immigration, being a DACA recipient and his life constantly revolving around immigration. He hopes to become an immigration attorney in the future to help his community. He currently lives in Los Angeles

He previously was a paralegal with the Law Office of Vanessa Frank, managing all aspects of client communication, office management and attorney support.

Litzy Hernández 

Litzy Hernández​ was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and raised in Ventura County, California. Hernández is getting her Bachelors in both Political Science and Spanish at the University of California Berkeley. She  has a long history of defending the rights of immigrants with several non-profit organizations in Oxnard and beyond. Living in the Ventura County, she continuously returns to Oxnard during the summer to work with the immigrant and indigenous community.

Her long term goal is to find more ways to improve support and lives of Ventura County immigrants through advocacy and creating more community bonds. 

Ashley Lecroy

As a rising alumna of University California Los Angeles (UCLA), Ashley  is a double major in Political Science and English. She is part of the CALPIRG student organization, where undergraduates organize  political campaigns. Ashley has a deep passion to help others and eventually wants to study law. 


Once becoming a lawyer, she hopes to use the judicial system to fight everyday injustices in the United States. Through the summer at the immigration law firm, she was producing community outreach materials to form allyship  with others.